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For example, college tends to filter students based on family income

And that is not new... Colleges have favored the wealthy since time immemorial. What does that have to do with the discussion of colleges filtering out conservatives?

College can be tough to navigate, and differs markedly from society at large - and so it is entirely possible that just as there are cultural and institutional factors that make college more difficult for poorer students, there might be cultural and institutional factors that make college more difficult for deeply conservative and/or religious students

What? You're trying to equate deeply religious people with uneducated poor people, better yet you're trying to equate conservatives with poor people.
My argument is much more substantial that Deeply religious conservatives are dissuaded from higher education by deeply conservative dogma... And not the college application process. The best example of that is Rick Santorum's message that higher education is unnecessary and ungodly.
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